Bomba, the Jungle Boy and the Moving Mountain - Roy Rockwood - ebook

Bomba, the Jungle Boy and the Moving Mountain ebook

Roy Rockwood



This is the second book in the Bomba the Jungle Boy series following „Bomba the Jungle Boy”. It is a series of adventure books produced by the Stratemeyer Syndicate between 1926 and 1938 in a youthful imitation of the highly successful Tarzan series by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Bomba is kind of a mixture of Tarzan and Mowgli. He is an orphaned boy who lives in the jungle. A common theme of the Bomba books is that Bomba, because he is white, has a soul that is awake, while his friends, the dark-skinned natives, have souls that are sleeping. In this case he has to rescue some white travelers from a band of headhunters and other dangers, and at the same time try to investigate his heritage and discover who his parents were. Strongly recommended this book for every teenager who wants to discover the exciting world of reading adventure fiction and for their parents!

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AS silently as a panther, Bomba climbed the great dolado tree, the giant of the forest.

It was a hard task, for the trunk was full of sharp-pointed spines and a thrust of one of these might mean fever and death.

But the tree was on the top of a hill and towered so far above its fellows that it would give Bomba a view of the jungle for many miles around.

Bomba needed that view, for there was trouble brewing, trouble for himself and trouble for old Cody Casson, and it behooved the boy to be on the alert, if he and his companion were to escape with whole skins.

So he went up the tree with almost the litheness agility of Doto, his chief friend among the monkeys, climbing in the way that Doto had taught him, not by using his knees, but relying wholly on his hands and feet, the former so hardened by his jungle life that no spines could penetrate them, and the latter protected by his home-made sandals.

Deftly he made his way through the branches, until the increasing slenderness of the upper boughs warned him that they would break beneath his weight if he went any higher. Then he made himself a seat among the foliage and, drawing a deep breath, scanned the surrounding country with yes that were almost as keen as those of a hawk.

He was a striking figure as he half-sat, half-stood there, sweeping the horizon, himself in such perfect harmony with the jungle that he seemed to be a part of it.

Bomba was a boy of about fourteen years of age, of more than medium height and so remarkably developed physically that he might easily have been supposed to be much older than he was. He had wavy brown hair, keen brown eyes, and a skin that was deeply bronzed by the heat of tropical suns, As far as color went, he might have been one of the native Indians of the Amazonian jungle; but his features showed that he was of white blood.

He wore no clothing save a breech-clout of native cotton, a pair of sandals that he himself had made, and a puma skin–the skin of Geluk, the puma, which Bomba had slain when it had tried to kill Kiki and Woowoo, the friendly parrots. The skin, held by straps at the shoulders, covered his breast and formed a partial protection against the stings of insects and the thorns of the jungle.

His arms were powerful and symmetrical, with muscles that rippled beneath the brown skin at every movement and betrayed the strength and agility that lay in them.

In his belt was thrust a machete, a knife nearly a foot in length with its two edges ground almost to razor sharpness. In addition he carried a revolver, his most precious possession and the only one he had ever owned, or even seen, the gift of white rubber hunters when he had saved their camp from an attack by jaguars, the tigers of the South American jungle. His bow and arrows he had left at the foot of the tree when he had begun his climb.

He had seen signs that day that filled him with anxiety. Enemies were abroad in the jungle. Not merely his animal foes, the jaguars, reptiles, alligators and others, against which he had constantly to be on his guard.

But the ones he had in mind at the moment were human enemies, tall, powerful, cruel-looking Indians, who, from the signs painted on their breasts and faces, he knew were on the warpath.

He had caught sight of a party of these earlier in the day, and from a secure covert in the underbrush had watched them as they had drifted along like so many shadows over a jungle trail.

At the belts of some of them hung human heads, the dreadful trophies from some onslaught upon a native village. They were the head-hunters, a distant tribe living in the vicinity of the Giant Cataract, who occasionally left their native haunts on a foray against more peaceful tribes, leaving desolation and death in their wake.

Bomba had already had one experience with the head-hunters, and had escaped death by the narrowest of Margins. In the struggle he had wounded Nascanora, their chief. Were these men whom he had seen to-day a part of Nascanora’s band, perhaps under his leadership, returning to seek vengeance? In any event, he knew them for enemies. If he should fall into their hands his life would not be worth a moment’s purchase.

His first study of the jungle from his lofty perch yielded no results. The great expanse of trees and streams and underbrush was apparently destitute of all signs of human life.

But as his gaze grew more intent he caught sight of a thin wisp of smoke rising above the trees at a distance. So tenuous and slender was it that at first he was inclined to think it a shred of vapor rising from the lush vegetation, steaming under the fierce rays of the sun. But it had a quality in it different from that of steam, for it yielded more readily to vagrant breaths of winds, and he knew it betokened the presence of human beings.

Someone had stopped there to make a fire. It might have been a member or members of some of the more or less friendly tribes of the district, with whom, although he was not on terms of intimacy, he had no quarrel. In that case, the smoke was nothing to be viewed with concern.

But–and this was the thought that made his pulses heat more rapidly–it was far more likely that the drift of smoke indicated a temporary encampment of the dreaded head-hunters. For when these ferocious invaders made their appearance in this part of the jungle, it was the signal for the native inhabitants to gather together their women and children and such property as they could carry and flee to some of the more inaccessible parts of the region, where they hid themselves until the marauders, wearied with slaughter of whomever they could find, should retire to their distant villages, bearing their hideous trophies of human heads, with which they adorned their wigwams.

Bomba strained his eyes to follow the column of smoke from its apex to the ground, so that he might see what was going on beneath the trees.

But too much foliage intervened, and he was forced to shift his position in order to obtain a better view. This made it necessary to ascend still higher into the branches. The attempt was fraught with peril, for he had already reached the limit of safety. The branches were even now giving forth ominous cracklings as he trusted his weight to them. Should they give way, he would go crashing to the ground, nearly two hundred feet below.

But the urge of discovery was too strong to be resisted, and with the utmost wariness he worked his way upward inch by inch, distributing his weight by placing each foot on a different branch.

Then an exclamation of satisfaction broke from his lips, for he had found an opening through which he could see what he sought.

And the sight thrilled him.

In a small glade of the jungle he saw a party of stalwart Indians gathered about a fire over which strips of meat were roasting.

The men were grouped in knots on the grass, most of them eating, while others, who seemed to have finished their meal, were jabbering together excitedly.

They were of an entirely different type from the natives near whom Bomba and Cody Casson lived, and he knew them at once for head-hunters some of them, no doubt, the very ones he had watched from his covert that morning.

But it was not upon them that his gaze rested for long. His eyes found something far more compelling beneath a group of trees on the edge of the clearing.

Tied securely to those trees were four captives Bomba could see at a glance that they were not natives. They were white men!

He had seen only two white men in all his life, besides Cody Casson. That was on the never-to-be-forgotten day when he had met Ralph Gillis and Jake Dorn and had thrilled to the consciousness that he himself was white. He remembered how they had looked, how they had borne themselves, how they had been dressed.

These captives wore the same kind of explorers’ outfits, and, despite the cords that bound them, bore the indefinable marks of a superior race.

Yes they were white! And Bomba was White, as he had assured himself proudly every day since he had met the rubber hunters. His heart bounded with the surge of kinship that went through it. The men were his brothers!

And in what a pitiable plight! Captives of these bloodthirsty fiends of the jungle! Bomba shuddered as he thought of the terrible fate that awaited them.

His heart swelling with pity and sympathy, Bomba scanned the prisoners more closely. He could not detect their features at that distance, but one of the four caught his attention as being different from the others.

The figure was slenderer and not so tall, and a great mass of golden hair fell from the head over the shoulders. Bomba caught his breath.

He had never seen such hair, had never seen a white woman. But he knew instinctively that he saw one now. Perhaps his mother, whom he had never known, had had such hair.

A woman! And in the hands of those monsters! His blood boiled at the thought.

He must save her! He must save them all! Were they not his own kind? They were white. He was white. He felt the call of the blood.

But how could he do it alone and unaided, he a mere boy against a host of enemies?

He did not stop to answer the question. He would do that as he went along. His jungle craft and his stout heart had always helped him. He believed that they would help him now. He must not delay a moment, even to formulate a plan of action.

Without any definite idea as to what plan he would adopt, he started to descend from the tree. Then he stopped as though he had turned to stone.

From some point near at hand he had heard a sound that chilled his blood.

It was the hiss of a jaracara, one of the deadliest snakes of the Amazonian jungle!

At the sound of that sibilant hiss, Bomba’s heart seemed to stand still for a moment. He was at no loss to grasp the sinister portent.

The deadly snake was close at hand, in the same tree as himself. And what was more, the sound came from below. The snake was between him and the ground!


THE boy could climb no higher. He was already at the extreme limit of safety. And even if he could ascend, the snake would follow him.

Bomba looked wildly about at the adjoining trees. But there was no hope there. The branches of the nearest one were nearly thirty feet away. Even a monkey could not have made the leap.

Again came that terrible hiss, this time nearer. The snake was crawling toward him. But the thick foliage below had thus far hidden it from sight.

Now Bomba could hear the rustling of the leaves as the slimy monster wound its way among them. Death was coming toward him.

Bomba’s hand sought the revolver at his belt. But the hand stopped before it reached the weapon, for he remembered the savages. The report of the weapon would bring them whooping to the tree and they would have five captives instead of four. And as between the human and reptile enemies, Bomba preferred to take his chance with the snake.

As he reached this conclusion, his eye was caught by a movement on a bough below. The leaves were rising and lowering in horrid undulations, as a long writhing body made its way among them, coming in his direction.

Then suddenly a cluster of leaves parted and a wicked triangular head appeared, rising slowly from a long black neck, while two malignant eyes with a fiendish glint in them fastened themselves upon the lad.

Like a flash, Bomba drew his knife and braced himself for battle.

While the boy stands at bay, his eyes fixed upon the awful head and slavering jaws drawing nearer with the relentlessness of doom it may be well for the benefit of those who have not read the preceding volume of this series to tell who Bomba was and something of his adventures up to the time this story opens.

As far back as Bomba could remember he had dwelt in the depths of the jungle. His only companion had been Cody Casson an aged naturalist, whether related to him or not, Bomba did not know.

The boy had grown up in absolute ignorance of the world at large. His only world was the jungle, but with this he was thoroughly familiar, He knew every bird and animal and reptile in it, their lairs and haunts and habits. Some of the more harmless ones, such as the parrots and the monkeys, were his friends. He understood their gestures and their language, and their company was a relief to the loneliness that at times overwhelmed him.

Neither he nor Casson had much to do with the natives of that part of the jungle, who, though not hostile, held aloft from a superstitious feeling that the white man practised magic and might do them evil if he were so inclined.

The old naturalist had given Bomba some smattering of education. But this had not gone far, for the explosion of a rifle that Casson had fired at an anaconda that was attacking Bomba had injured the old man’s head and made him childish. From that time the lessons had ceased, and the care of providing food for the two had devolved on Bomba.

The danger involved in this had developed the boy into a mighty hunter, a dead shot with bow and arrow, a master of the spear and the machete, quick, crafty and resourceful, a match for any of the deadly inhabitants of the jungle.

But Bomba was lonely, restless, and unhappy. He knew that he was out of place in the jungle. He was different from the natives. His white blood and instincts called him elsewhere. He was in a turmoil of longing for he knew not what.

An accidental meeting with two white rubber hunters, whose lives he saved when their camp was attacked by jaguars, had intensified these longings. They had wanted him to go with them to civilization, but he could not leave Casson,

He had besought the latter to tell him something of ms parents: and the old naturalist had tried to do so. But his memory had failed him. He had spoken vaguely of “Bartow” and “Laura” Persons whom Bomba finally guessed must be connected in some way with his history.

What exciting adventures Bomba had with boa constrictors, jaguars and alligators, how narrowly he escaped death from vampires, the way he saved his monkey friends from the attack of the vultures, the desperate and successful defense of his cabin against the hordes of Nascanora–these and other exploits are narrated in the preceding volume of this series, entitled: “Bomba the Jungle Boy; or, The Old Naturalist’s Secret.”

Now to return to Bomba as he stands in the topmost branches of the tree, knife in hand, facing the scaly monster that seeks his life.

The snake was coming more slowly now. It saw the tense attitude of its intended Victim, noted the knife in his hand, and knew that a struggle was impending.

But there was no relaxation of its purpose. Its forked tongue darted’ between the thin lips that were like a gash in the horrible face.

Bomba realized that victory would go to the one that was the quicker of the two. The snake would strike like lightning. He must try to parry with his knife and slice the snake in two. There was little chance to dodge. There was absolutely no chance to retreat.

Bomba knew that the chances were against him. Deft and agile as he was, the snake was quicker.

Nearer and nearer came the reptile, measuring the distance. Eight feet away–seven–six. There the reptile stopped to throw itself into the coil from which it would launch the deadly stroke.

And in that moment an inspiration came to Bomba.

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